Donald Trump’s Reign of Bullsh*t: He’s Not Lying to Us, He’s Just C...

Eldar Sarajlic explains that bullshit ignores the truth value of language. Bullshit is "legitimate political discourse" among Trump supporters as a vehicle for instinctive reptile-brain domination.

There's a difference between a liar and a bullshitter -- and it helps explain the essence of Donald Trump.

In his seminal essay “On Bullshit,” philosopher Harry Frankfurt defines bullshit as a form of communication aimed to obscure the matter of facts being discussed by using the words that are neither necessarily true nor false. This definition hinges on a crucial distinction between a liar and a bullshitter. Unlike the liar, who hides things about himself in an attempt to lead us away from a correct apprehension of reality, the bullshitter hides that “the truth-values of his statements are of no central interest to him.” In other words, [a] bullshitter doesn’t care about what the truth is. He just talks as it suits his purposes.

A liar, according to Frankfurt, must know what the truth is, and must deliberately aim to lead his listeners away from it.

As PolitiFact reports, most of Trump’s campaign statements have been blatantly false, mostly false or partially true. Only 2 percent of his statements are described as true. Although one is tempted to call him a liar, which many have done, he is not a liar but a bullshitter.

... the novelty of Trump is not only in the nonchalant disregard for the truth instead of its deliberate distortion, but also in the widespread acceptance of bullshit as the legitimate political discourse.

...bullshit is legitimate in politics when everyone starts accepting that words uttered in political discourse do not matter anymore.Trump has successfully made language irrelevant, at least among his supporters (potentially half of the country).

Frankfurt ... he says that bullshit is “unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what is he talking about.”

... Trump... has put himself into circumstances that oblige him to speak about things that are beyond his personal expertise. As we can witness from his media appearances, his knowledge about public policy, foreign affairs or broader culture is meager, to say the least, and he compensates by producing bullshit. [emphasis mine]

Sarajlic points out that Trump appeals to instinctive dominance cravings.

... the roots of his appeal: bare instinct. It has become evident that his support among the populace springs from some primal domain that precedes language (thus making it irrelevant). In her recent interview with some of Trump’s young supporters, Samantha Bee has drawn out acknowledgment that Trump was appealing to them on a certain limbic level, speaking to their “lizard brains.” [emphasis mine]

... the bullshit he produces every day has only so much success in hiding what lies beneath: the deeply embedded instinct for racial and economic domination, white over black, rich over poor. ... to preserve hierarchy and power of white and rich elites over non-white and poor masses.

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Words don't matter to our reptile brain because, as Paul MacLean pointed out, neither the limbic system nor the reptile brain comprehend language. It's no surprise that people suppressing the neocortex in favor of dominance/submission wouldn't realize their go-to language is bullshit. "True versus False" exists within neocortex functioning. I should point out that everyday behavior initiation takes place when any two of the three triune brains are in concert. It's perfectly normal to temporarily respond to stimuli by allowing emotional cognition (limbic system) and reptile brain to take charge, for example when  responding to threat, food, or sexual stimuli. What's novel here is using that mental configuration, which decreases neocortex functioning to a back seat, for choosing a presidential candidate.

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The reptile brain, which deals with dominance and submission and with basic bodily needs -- "food, fighting, fleeing, and fucking" -- has always been relevant to politics.

"I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." (Quoted, probably misattributed, by Bill Moyers)

It seems especially prominent in the current climate!

Many who portray Mitch McConnell as a turtle are probably unaware of that deeper implication of "dominate or submit":

(Image source: "The Reign of Obama and His Super-Majority", on how the US Senate never had a 60-member filibuster-proof Democratic supermajority in practice, because Sen. Robert Byrd was hospitalized and never voted.)

This is the ordinary story of advertisement; the sham has exactly the same chance as the real. Persistence is the only quality required for success.

--Aleister Crowley

It's scary when US politics becomes a mere ad game.

Just ask the Kenyan usurper.

You mean the Kenyan Communist Muslim atheist? :)

Well, you know how all of us atheists are trying to implement Sharia law, here in America.

I'm trying to remember who it was who warned us about those plans.  Bill O'Reilly?  Sean Hannity?

Ann Coulter? Michelle Bachmann?

Nah, it was one of the more blustery blowhards, beyond even those two.  The line ran something along the lines of the secularists trying to take over our government and implement Sharia law, or some similar insanity.  I tried half a dozen Google searches and came up empty, for the source and actual quote.

Too bad; it must have been a doozy. Secularists imposing sharia - that definitely has the bite of someone like Beck's or O'Reilly's logic. 

Yeah, it was one of them or someone like them.  I'd say that Bill O'Reilly is too intelligent for that, but the character he plays on his show is not.

Bertold, when you said, "The sham has exactly the same chance as the real." you weren't kidding.

Watch: Colbert Rips Trump's Oddly Specific Plan to Eliminate Imagin...

“Would you eliminate any departments?” host Sean Hannity asked Trump in a Fox News town hall.

“Oh, absolutely,” Trump said. “Department of Environmental—I mean the DEP is killing us environmentally, just killing our businesses."

"... the Department of Environmental does not exist, meaning Trump is either talking out of his ass or he’s already eliminated it!" [emphasis mine]

Stephanie Cegielski , a former Trump Campaign staff Director, backs up the bullshit argument.

An Open Letter to Trump Voters From His Staff Defector

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The hard truth is: Trump only cares about Trump.

And if you are one of the disaffected voters …who wanted a candidate who could be your voice,…

He is not that voice. He is not your voice. He is only Trump's voice.

Trump is about Trump.

A devastating terrorist attack in Pakistan targeting Christians occurred on Easter Sunday, and Trump’s response was to tweet, "Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead, 400 injured. I alone can solve."

… take a moment to appreciate the ridiculous, cartoonish, almost childish arrogance of saying that he alone can solve.

This is not how foreign policy works. For anyone. Ever.

Superhero powers where "I alone can solve" problems are not real.

He is an intelligent, charismatic man … would rather speak from the cuff than read briefing notes and recite them. … extraordinary improvisor, not an extraordinary presidential candidate.

I am, in my heart, a policy wonk and a believer in coming to the table with necessary knowledge for leading the free world.

The man does not know policy, nor does he have the humility to admit what he does not know—the most frightening position of all. [emphasis mine]

BTW, she also claims Trump never intended to be elected president when he started campaigning.

... I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.

The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12 percent and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50 percent. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.

But something surprising and absolutely unexpected happened. Every other candidate misestimated the anger and outrage of the “silent majority” of Americans who are not a part of the liberal elite. So with each statement came a jump in the polls. Just when I thought we were finished, The Donald gained more popularity.

I don't think even Trump thought he would get this far. And I don’t even know that he wanted to, which is perhaps the scariest prospect of all.

He certainly was never prepared or equipped to go all the way to the White House, but his ego has now taken over the driver's seat, and nothing else matters. The Donald does not fail. The Donald does not have any weakness. The Donald is his own biggest enemy. [emphasis mine]




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